Economic segregation in schools has worsened: study

The segregation of young students from low-income families – caused by rising Latin American enrollment and the departure of white and middle-class families – has worsened across the country over a 15-year period, contributing to widen the gaps in success according to economic and racial criteria. , a new study has concluded.

In 2000, the typical child of a family living below the poverty line attended an elementary school where 45% of those enrolled were children from middle-class families. In 2015, that figure fell to 36% nationally, according to a study by UC Berkeley and the University of Maryland. The researchers compared data for elementary school students in more than 14,000 school districts nationwide over a 15-year period ending in 2015.

“The increasing segregation of haves and have-nots over the past two decades” is of particular concern in light of other research indicating that students from low-income families make less academic progress as they “come to dominate enrollment of the district,” said the study director. Bruce Fuller, professor of education and public policy at UC Berkeley.

Other research has provided evidence that student learning gaps have widened further during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit lower-income, predominantly Latino and black communities the hardest, where families had access to fewer resources to react and recover.

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